Tomorrow is my birthday, which means I can wish a not-so-fond farewell to the year of being 31 and start fresh again. Since I’m a January baby it seems to make more sense to truely start the new year with each birthday instead of with some arbitrary calendar date. Besides which, by the time my birthday rolls around, I am typically and actually writing the date with the correct year!
When my year of being 31 began, I was just leaving the honeymoon period of “Oh it’s such fun to live in another country!” and just starting to face the reality of “Oh life in another country is just like normal life, but with funny accents!” Thus, the year of being 31 for me will always be remembered in terms of the trials and tribulations of normal life only slightly different. I had victories (Barclaycard!) and defeats (depression that landed me in therapy) not to mention many, many ordinary days of working hard, playing some, and generally being alive in the way that we all are. I got to travel to new European countries (Ireland, Italy) and new continents (Asia by way of Singapore) not to mention new UK cities (Nottingham, Ely). I learned to deal with homesickness by surrounding myself with the familiar (Starbucks, McDonalds) and the less familiar (my awesome expat friends). I even have a few positive things to say about both England and the English 🙂
So what’s planned for the year of being 32? Well, I have at least one more EU country to visit for certain (Austria, twice!) and possible/tentative plans for a few other interesting trips to interesting places (Australia? China/Japan/Korea?) I’d really like to take advantage of my location here and hit both Scotland and Wales if even for just a weekend. I’d like to get back to taking more photographs, and not just when I travel. I’m getting some work done in my flat, with hopes that I might be able to settle in better, get more organized, and feel happier in these surroundings. I’d like to spend more time with my grandmother in the US, although my trips there seem to be either to the east or west coast, making landing in the middle of the country a perpetual challenge. Regardless, I just called her to give myself a little pre-birthday pick-me-up! Thank goodness for cell phones and the internet (and even Facebook!) for keeping in touch with people in far-away lands. So I’m still at my computer half-working (but obviously half-blogging) as the clock is getting close to turning over on the 30th Jan. and as such, I think I will go and have a toast to the end of the year of being 31!